Research course

Clinical Child, Family and Education Studies

Utrecht University · Social and Behavioural Sciences

Entry requirements

Visit our website for more information on: Admission and Application.

Months of entry


Course content

Are you interested in raising children and in how the environment contributes to the development of children and youth? In the way you can support parents and educators to create a context where children and youth are able to reach their full potential? Then this master’s programme is definitely an option for you!

The master’s programme Clinical Child, Family and Education Studies (Dutch: Orthopedagogiek) challenges you to make connections between scientific research and practical issues. It addresses what is needed when problems arise in child and adolescent development, or in parenting or education of children at risk.

Objective of the programme

This master’s programme will enable you to develop yourself as an academic and clinical professional. Armed with scientific insights and clinical skills, you will be able to give advice, support, treatment and guidance concerning clinical issues in raising children and adolescents. You can make an important contribution to research of practical care issues related to children and youth. You will help children, youth, their parents and the systems surrounding them to function to their optimum potential. This programme prepares you to work as a scientist practitioner in youth care in clinical or transnational settings.

Working in a multi-disciplinary way

While studying complex situations you will combine insights from education and child and adolescent studies, psychology, neuropsychology, child and youth psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, juvenile justice, paediatrics and sociology.

An international programme in English

This programme’s working language is English. This means that English will be used during lectures, for scientific exchange between students and staff. You may opt to use Dutch or English for your thesis and individual assignments. Certain parts of the programme, such as a clinical internship in an institution with Dutch speaking clients or patients, are only available to students who speak Dutch.

Clinical issues in raising children and youth: a sound basis

Each student will take three obligatory courses concerning:

  • Working as a clinical professional in different contexts;
  • Critical Analysis of Youth Development: an Ecological Systems Approach
  • Functioning as an academic professional.

On top of these courses you will follow an elective course, a specialisation (‘track’) and write a master’s thesis.

Become an expert in your field

Two tracks are available:

  1. Care for Children, Youth and Parents. This Track 1 entails a clinical internship and therefore you must be able to speak Dutch. You’ll need to apply for these internships yourself, based on the institutions that are listed in our ‘internship database’. Requests to enter this database are made through You’ll need to have acquired an internship by September 1, 2017, when the master programme starts. In this internship you will acquire supervised experience of day-to-day practice in the professional workplace and learn to work independently in an academic role as a scientific practitioner. All internships fulfill the requirements of the Dutch (Professional) Association of Educationalists (NVO) for post master education in The Netherlands and many allow you to report on your diagnostic assessments for three cases as required for the Basic Registration in Diagnostics.
  2. Care for Children, Youth and Parents: a transnational perspective. You will practice your clinical skills, such as problem analysis and the use of diagnostic assessment tools and you will work with systematic intervention protocols from a transnational perspective, as part of our clinical skills lab. You will also participate in the course Frontiers in Clinical Child, Family and Education Studies: research at Utrecht University and transnational comparisons. This unique and interactive course is offered by top researchers in the field of Clinical Child, Family and Education Studies at Utrecht University from the Child and Adolescent Studies (CAS) and Education and Learning (EL) groups. In a series of symposia, recent research findings regarding children, adolescents, education and learning will be presented by senior members of CAS and EL as well as by junior members who are currently performing their research projects at Utrecht University. This course provides you with new and actual insights into the above mentioned fields and involves you in the discussion about the transnational potential of use in practice. This track does not fulfill the requirements of the Dutch (Professional) Association of Educationalists (NVO) for post master education in The Netherlands.

By choosing the content of your internship or clinical skills lab, thesis and electives, you can personalise your education. You can, for instance, become an expert in development and family issues in a specific developmental period, such as adolescence or infancy.

Research feeds education

Your lecturers will participate in highly qualified research in the field of parenting, adolescence, education, development and learning in the research programmes Child and Adolescent Studies and Education and Learning. This means you will benefit from their most recent scientific insights. Moreover, as a master’s student your thesis can contribute to the current research within the programme concerning projects such as:

  • Study of Attention capacities of moderately Preterm born infants (STAP)
  • The youth cohort study: social competence and behavioural control
  • Extra support for toddlers: “ToddlerExtra”
  • Evaluation of the Rock and Water support programme
  • Evaluating therapy for depressed adolescents
  • Projects from the Consortium on Individual Development (CID)
  • Research on Adolescent Development And Relationships (RADAR)

Preparing for the labour market

The master’s programme in Clinical Child, Family and Education Studies prepares you for work from a transnational perspective, or for a career in a clinical setting. You will be able to give advice, support, treatment and guidance when problems in child and adolescent development arise. You will be a trained expert in clinical issues in raising future generations. You could work as a policy adviser or care giver in several fields such as youth care, special needs care in schools, care for people with a disability, paediatric rehabilitation, forensic care and (inter)national knowledge institutions. You can also pursue a career in research, for instance at a university or knowledge institution

Information for international students

For more information visit our website.

Fees and funding

UK students
Statutory fee - fulltime 2017-2018: € 2,006 (NL/EU)
International students
Institutional fee 2017-2018: € 15,167 (non EU/EEA)

Visit our website for more information on: Tuition Fees and Financial Support.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Dr M.J.Jongmans